I’m back with another TV Show review! This time it’s The CW’s, Riverdale. I’ll admit that when it aired in January of this year, I did not watch it. To be honest, it wasn’t even on my radar. I remember seeing some buzz about it because of Cole Sprouse (who plays Jughead) and his return to acting. I also remember seeing the promo pictures (one is featured in this article) and I thought it seemed kind of interesting, but I didn’t know much about the plot. Luckily for me, Netflix had the entire first season and I was able to binge in (literately, I’m not even kidding, though I wish I were) one day.
The first season has thirteen episodes and the plot surrounds a group of friends and their town after a mysterious death occurs. The series follows the main character, Archie Andrews, although the focus doesn’t stay solely on him. The plot surrounds the main characters, secondary characters, and the mystery surrounding the death of Jason Blossom. All in all, it’s a whodunnit but it also has more. Think of Pretty Little Liars but also Teen Wolf and a little of 90210. It’s got the classic teen “coming of age” story lines but there is also a murder mystery, and I get paranormal vibes. It’s like a grown up Scooby Doo.
In fact, the series is based on the Archie Comics. I’ll be the first to admit I have no knowledge of the comics other than they exist, so I can’t speak to their relevance to the show or how closely (or not) the show stays to the comics.
What I liked: There was a lot that I loved about Riverdale. For one, I was completely caught up in the mystery surrounding the murder of Jason Blossom. What made the mystery enjoyable was that each episode I felt like I got a piece of the puzzle. I didn’t feel jerked around for no reason (looking at you, Pretty Little Liars) or that I watched a ton of filler episodes. I found that each episode gave me something and that something had me pressing “next episode” quickly.
The characters and all of their motives was also something I loved. It kind of felt that at one point, everyone had a motive to kill Jason Blossom. I felt that anyone could have been the killer. And that was exciting. This mystery and uneasiness made me feel as though I couldn’t trust any of the characters.
The music was also something that was pretty awesome on the show. Not only did the feature some cool songs (some of the ones that struck me were “Trouble” by Cage the Elephant, “Boyfriend” by Tegan and Sara, and “No Surprise” by The Shacks) they also featured a band in the storyline, Josie and the Pussycats, and they were phenomenal. Their songs are actually on Spotify so you can listen to them and they are amazing. They had such a unique sound that I loved listening to them perform even if it was just snippets throughout the show.
Jughead and Betty almost made the show for me. I absolutely loved scenes with the two of them. Jughead is easily my favorite character, but Betty is a close second. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to spoil anything. Just watch it.
Also, have to mention the ending. I loved the ending. I literately can’t wait for season 2. That’s all I can really say without spoiling it. You’ll just have to watch for yourself.
What I didn’t like: Some of the characters were annoying at times. (Looking at you, Archie, and you, Veronica…) I just found that Archie kissed way too many girls. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but I felt like he just jumped around continuously from romantic interest to romantic interest. I think I counted around five potentials in a total of thirteen episodes. That just seemed A BIT (a lot) too much for me. I know I can attribute this to them being teenagers and Archie clearly has a lot of growing up to do, but I still found it so irritating.
Veronica also annoyed me at times. Sometimes I just felt like she had horrible tunnel vision and wasn’t really thinking how her actions could affect those around her. (Again, perhaps it’s just her age showing.) Or maybe she just didn’t care because getting answers was more important to her. Either way, it got irritating.
Overall, I say definitely give Riverdale a try if you’re into mysteries/thrillers and are ok with following characters of the teen demographic. The show definitely gets dark at times but also has a lightness within some of the characters. I will be tuning in to see season 2. I didn’t give it a full 5 because I felt like the characters were very immature at times. Still, please check this one out. It didn’t disappoint.